BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – On Tuesday, September 6, individuals across the U.S. are encouraged to set aside some time to enjoy a book in honor of ‘National Read a Book Day.’

If reading is one of your preferred pastimes, you’re not alone.

A 2021 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 75 percent of American adults said they made time to read at least one book in the past 12 months, and many experts agree this figure probably hasn’t changed.

On the other hand, people who aren’t too keen of quietly sitting down with a book for hours on end may wonder why some are so drawn to the act of reading.

Well, for many, reading is a way to escape the pressures of reality and fully immerse themselves into a fascinating fictional world.

Other avid readers devour nonfiction books the way a starving person devours a good meal, simply because they love taking in the knowledge that literature provides.

So, there are a plethora of reasons to read.

But if the two listed above aren’t enough to convince a person to visit an East Baton Rouge Parish Library (EBR Library) and grab a good book, perhaps the three facts below will be more convincing.

Studies suggest reading can slow Alzheimer’s and Dementia

A number of studies indicate reading stimulates mental activity.

In fact, according to LifeHack, one study suggests that reading books can slow mental disorders like Alzheimer’s and Dementia because it keeps the brain active, thus allowing the brain to retain its power and capacity.

Every part of the body needs exercise to stay healthy, and our brains are no different. Reading provides them with regular exercise to keeps this vital organ stimulated and healthy.

Reading can improve self-awareness and social abilities

Experts say reading can enhance self awareness and improve certain social skills.

How so?

A Psychology Today article explains it this way, “Reading and responding to fiction may foster young people’s understanding of human nature and their place in the world.”

This means people who read can increase their understanding of how human thinking patterns work and why people do what they do. This includes an enhanced ability to answer questions such as, ‘Why do I feel the way I feel?’ and ‘Where is my place in this world?’

The article also refers to the findings of an interesting research study on the benefits of reading, saying, “frequent fiction readers were associated with better social ability and that the tendency to get absorbed in a story correlated with higher empathy scores. These results have been replicated, and a meta-analysis found that lifetime exposure to narrative fiction was associated with more perspective-taking and empathy.”

So, even reading fictional stories can increase the reader’s empathy, which typically results in improved social abilities.

Reading can improve memory and concentration

It’s been said that regular reading is like exercise for the brain, and with regular “workouts” the brain can become incredibly powerful.

According to LifeHack, “An amazing fact about our brain is that it can retain a great amount of information, and with every new memory, your brain creates new brain pathways or synapses. Moreover, it strengthens your existing memory, helps to recall short-term memory, and stabilizes mood.”

Essentially, some scientists believe that the more a person reads, the more pathways the brain creates, thereby strengthening memory.

The article also touts reading as a way to enhance focus and concentration, saying, “Keeping yourself occupied with reading for about 20 to 30 minutes can be great for your brain. It can help you with better focus and concentration.”

Hopefully, the three facts listed below are good reason to pick up a book on National Read a Book Day, or on any day.

If you’re short on time but you want to read, EBR Library also makes audiobooks available. So, you can listen to books while running errands or taking care of chores.

Click here to view EBR Library’s options for readers.